We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon M. Clark, MD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon M., can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I started BabiesAfter35.com when I was 40 years-old and trying to become a mother. Due to my medical training as an ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, I knew that trying to conceive at that age might be difficult, but I truly had no idea just how difficult and long my journey would be. After 2+ years of fertility treatments, I was able to conceive my twins via donor egg. I have chosen to be transparent about my journey in an effort to break some of the taboos surrounding unconventional ways of building a family. With BabiesAfter35, I wanted to share my own personal journey to motherhood, as well use my medical expertise as a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, to educate women on fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood after age 35, and especially after age 40. Since then, I have become an advocate and educator for this group of women. I use my social media outlets to discuss important topics related to fertility, pregnancy and motherhood after age 35, as well as women’s health in general. I have been able to connect with women from all over the world who seek advice and direction or who want to share their own personal journeys. In addition, I seek the expertise from medical professionals who can help educate the community on important topics related to women’s health.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Professor in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at a large academic center where I am a clinician, educator and researcher. I care for women with high-risk pregnancies, teach medical students, residents and fellows, and do research on various topics in pregnancy. I feel my personal journey to becoming a mother has greatly impacted my empathy and understanding of my patients. Not only did I have trouble conceiving my twins, but I was also on hospital bedrest for two months in the same labor and delivery unit where I work prior to their delivery at 31 weeks gestation. I was then a NICU mom for 6 weeks. These experiences have had a profound impact on how I relate to and manage my patients. My journey of developing BabiesAfter35 into what it is today has been based on my own experiences with trying to conceive, pregnancy and motherhood after age 35. I feel that I am better able to come from a place of understanding when educating women and hearing their stories. When a woman feels comfortable sharing her struggles and victories with me, I am the most proud and fulfilled. I have learned that to be a better doctor, I have to be willing to draw on my own personal experiences and even share them with my patients when appropriate. I feel that BabiesAfter35 is now a voice for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant or new mothers after age 35, as well as those women who are anticipating delaying childbirth until later in life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have 3 1/2 year-old twins now so my favorite spots are going to be the most family-friendly ones! We love to be outdoors. Houston has several amazing outdoor playgrounds for kids. We love our local Heights parks, Levy Park and Memorial Park Playground. We also love the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and walks along the Buffalo Bayou. For indoor activities, we love Wonderwild, We Rock The Spectrum and Kids Empire. For dining, Bella Green is always a hit. We also love places with patios. Field and Tides, Crisp, and Punks are our favorites. Other must-dos for families are The Children’s Museum, Natural Science Museum, Discovery Green, and a quick road trip the Galveston!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout-out to my husband, René Harris, who has been my biggest supporter in my journey to making Babies After 5 a success!
Linkedin: Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS
Facebook: Babies After 35
Youtube: Shannon M. Clark, MD
Other: Tik Tok @tiktokbabydoc